Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A little pie crust experiment...

Peach-strawberry pie, strawberry galette, and blackberry peach pie

My mom has always made good pies. She used a proven crust recipe and it made making pies enjoyable. When I was in college, I picked some blackberries at a park and made my boyfriend a pie. (I know now that blackberries are almost a weed in Seattle, so I hope they weren't sprayed, oh well, live and learn. Sorry Hon!) I tried the crust recipe I grew up with, and viola, my boyfriend became my fiance! If only our love story was that simple; however, he does remember the pie so it must have had some effect.

Then later in my twenties, I discovered that shortening wasn't even real food and I got really grossed out and despaired.  I mean, how was I gonna woo my man if I couldn't use the recipe?  A bit later, I discovered non hydrogenated palm oil.  It works just like shortening, but is a real food. I am still a bit unexcited about it though. Then a bit later again, I discovered cooking with coconut oil. So I started mixing ratios of real butter with unrefined or lightly refined coconut oil into the pie crust recipe and it was working.  Even my mom who hates coconut hasn't noticed the coconut taste in my pies.

At the same time I was experimenting with the lipids in the recipe, I was experimenting with the flours.  Whole wheat pastry flour works well in the crust in a ratio of about 3 parts to 1 part unbleached flour.  For my latest experiment, I was making a crust for chicken pot pie and knew I was going in a savory direction so I mixed in some cornmeal and used cornmeal to roll out the dough too. Super yummy I think. 

How can I care about pie crust this much?  Um, how can you not??
Chicken pot pie to go...

Experimental crust crackers (thyme, rosemary, garlic salt and S& P)

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